WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate today effectively eliminated an amendment that would have dramatically expanded restrictions on health insurance coverage for abortion.
The procedural motion to table the Nelson-Hatch amendment — which only needed 51 votes to succeed — received 54. Both Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken voted in favor of tabling the amendment.
Sponsored by Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Republican Orrin Hatch of Utah, the amendment would have restricted abortion coverage in any government-run insurance option and any private insurance plan on the proposed exchange that accepts people using government subsidies.
A similar measure, commonly referred to as the Stupak Amendment because it was offered by pro-life Democrat Rep. Stupak of Michigan, was seen as key to the House passage of health care reform legislation.